Men's Basketball

Bobcats fall to Mars Hill, 100-87, in season opener

Bobcats fall to Mars Hill, 100-87, in season opener
Box score

MARS HILL, N.C. --- Donterious Hughes (Gastonia, N.C.) recorded 20 points to lead the Mars Hill College men's basketball team to a 100-87 win over Lees-McRae College, as the Lions held off several Bobcat rallies on Monday night in Stanford Arena.

Mars Hill (1-1) posted a blistering 59.7 percent field goal percentage, while the Bobcats (0-1) recorded a 48.6 percent clip from the floor. The Lions connected on 5-of-7 attempts from beyond the arc for a 71.4 percent clip, while Lees-McRae knocked down eight triples on the night.

Senior Adam McFerran (Stow, Ohio) tallied a game-high 21 points, a total which was equaled by freshman Tevin Friday's (Gastonia, N.C.) impressive debut performance for the Bobcats, while Daniel Sepokas (Illawong, NSW, Australia) chipped in 17 points of his own. McFerran and Sepokas each pulled down a team- and game-high seven rebounds, while Reshon Benjamin (Valdosta, Ga.) tallied a game-high seven assists. Matt Eller (Lake Norman, N.C.) chipped in 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting for the Bobcats.

Hughes knocked down 7-of-11 attempts from the floor to pace the Lions with 20 points, while Dion Malachi (Shelby, N.C.), Marshall Adams (Milwaukee, Wis.), and Steven Gatkuoth (Sudan, Africa) chipped in 15, 12, and 11 points, respectively. Gatkuoth pulled down a team-high six rebounds, while Hughes and Randolph Howell (Raleigh, N.C.) each posted a team-high four assists. Tarron Stewart (Tampa, Fla.) also recorded a game-high three steals.

Mars Hill started strong, opening an early 10-4 lead on a jumper by Stewart to kick start a 5-2 spurt, which was capped by a three-point play from Randolph to give the Lions a 13-6 advantage. The Bobcats would stay within striking distance, rallying to tie the score at 17-17 on a triple by Eller with 12:17 to go in the half.

The Lions would respond, stretching the lead to 30-21 with a layup by Dallas Johnson (Auburndale, Fla.) to cap a 13-4 run with 6:35 remaining in the half. Lees-McRae answered once again, launching a 14-5 run to knot the score at 35-35 on a four-point play by Sepokas with 2:38 to go in the period. Sepokas would then give the Bobcats their first lead of the game, knocking down a three-pointer at the 2:19 mark before Mars Hill closed out the half with a 6-2 run to take a 43-40 lead into the intermission.

Mars Hill carried the momentum into the second half, opening the period with a 7-2 spurt to take a 50-42 lead on a pair of free throws by Gatkouth. Lees-McRae would answer, launching a 15-8 run to cut the margin to 58-57 on a McFerran triple with 14:42 to play. The Lions would answer right back, going on a 13-0 run to take a 71-57 lead on a Malachi dunk with 11:13 remaining.

Lees-McRae responded with a quick 5-0 spurt, cutting the lead to 71-62 before Mars Hill regained control, answering with a 21-8 run over the next six minutes to stretch the margin to 92-70 with 4:11 to play. The Bobcats would battle throughout the final four minutes, trimming the advantage to 13 points on a dunk by Sam Youse (Winston-Salem, N.C.) before time expired.

The Bobcats return to the court on Thursday when LMC travels to Tigerville, S.C. to take on North Greenville University. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.

- LMC -